Boston police arrested a city man Monday morning after he allegedly threatened the life of City Councilor Michael Flaherty, the councilor confirmed.

The man, later identified as John Donovan, 53, was arrested during a violent struggle in which he drove his car into police cruisers in a Stop & Shop parking lot in South Boston, Flaherty said.

Flaherty said officers had to break the car window and grab the suspect out of the car. The incident happened not long after the man went to Flaherty’s headquarters nearby and threatened to kill the councilor and those affiliated with him, Flaherty said.

Over the weekend, Flaherty said, the man had randomly shown up at the homes of other people in South Boston asking about their connections to Flaherty, threatening to kill the councilor.


Donovan, a South Boston resident, was charged with two counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a police officer, driving to endanger, willful and malicious destruction of property, and leaving the scene of an accident after causing property damage and making threats, according to police. He is expected to be arraigned in South Boston District Court.

On Monday, officers were dispatched to help a Boston housing police officer shortly before 10:45 a.m., according to Boston police. The housing police officer was traveling behind Donovan, who was driving a vehicle near the intersection of Old Colony Avenue and Dorchester Street.

“The officers were aware that the suspect was wanted on an outstanding warrant stemming from two separate incidents where threats were made towards community members in South Boston on Saturday,” the department said in a statement.

When police tried to pull over Donovan, he fled, authorities said. Police soon learned that he was seen leaving a campaign office on East Broadway after making “additional threats towards an elected official and his staff,” police said.


Officers saw Donovan get into a vehicle. When police came near the vehicle, Donovan repeatedly hit the officers’ cruisers, according to authorities.

“The officers were eventually able to place the suspect in custody after a lengthy struggle,” said police in a statement.

Flaherty was not harmed, but he said the recent incidents shook up his staff members and neighbors who came into contact with the man.

“I’ve come to expect stuff like this, but I feel bad for my neighbors and my staff that they were subject to this type of behavior,” Flaherty said.

Milton J. Valencia can be reached at milton.valencia@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.

Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.